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Ayra Starr.

The 9 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (January)

Featuring Ayra Starr, Reekado Banks x Tiwa Savage, Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Joeboy, Yung L, Buju and more

Here are the best, and most noteworthy, Nigerian tracks we had on repeat in the first month of 2021.

Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.


Ayra Starr 'Away'

The newest Mavin Records signee Ayra Starr is fresh out of the gate and already getting tongues wagging. The 19-year-old has released her self-titled debut EP, starting with head bopper "Away." Born in Benin and raised between Cotonou and Lagos, Nigeria, Starr's sound allows her versatility and distinctive styles to take center stage. The introductory "Away" is a pulsating, hip-grinding track that re-explores what typically makes up a break-up song.

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Reekado Banks & Tiwa Savage 'Speak To Me'

Watch the Official Video for Speak To Me by Reekado Banks and Tiwa Savage from the EP, Off The Record, Directed by Adasa Cookey and Starring Bright O and Wat...

Femi Kuti 'As We Struggle Everyday'

Femi Kuti shares his new single, "As We Struggle Everyday," the latest drop from the upcoming double album Legacy +, a joint endeavor with his son Made Kuti. "As We Struggle Everyday" is a politically-charged afrobeat tune about people having the voting power to hold their 'leaders' accountable, but often failing to do so. Throughout the song, Femi sings "As we struggle everyday We try to find a better way See these leaders wey suppose jail Na him my people dem dey hail."

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YUNG L 'Yaadman (Intro)'

Nigeria's Yung L delivers the new single and music video for "Yaadman," an addictive and energetic dancehall track built on slick guitars and heavy beats. It comes paired with the striking visuals directed by TG Omori. "Yaadman (Intro)" is the first track on Yung L's upcoming album, Yaadman Kingsize. Get into the vibes above.

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Buju 'So Lovely'

Buju had a strong showing last year signing to Burna Boy's Spaceship Records and dropping the "Lenu" remix, which made it as one of our Best Nigerian Songs of 2020. He now returns in full force with the new single and music video for "So Lovely," another highly-captivating afro-fusion affair.

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WizKid 'Ginger' ft. Burna Boy

Wizkid dropped the new music video for one of his many Made In Lagos highlights, "Ginger," featuring the added superstar power of Burna Boy. The two Nigerian heavyweights keep things stylish as always in the new striking new Meji Alabi-directed music video. "Ginger" was picked as one of our Best Nigerian Songs of 2020.

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Joeboy 'Lonely'

Nigerian artist Joeboy has dropped the visuals for his latest track "Lonely". The new song features on his upcoming debut album Somewhere Between Beauty & Magic. In "Lonely", Joeboy tells the story of two neighbours who are interested in one another and neither want to be lonely nor apart from one another. The music video, which was shot in Lagos by Nigerian director, Adetula "KingTula" Adebowale, tells this story well with the couple eventually linking up and giving the audience a generally happy ending.

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Nao 'Antidote' ft. Adekunle Gold

British singer Nao dropped her fresh single "Antidote" featuring Nigerian artist Adekunle Gold. The release of the single is accompanied by mesmerising visuals in which both Nao and Adekunle celebrate their beautiful baby daughters. The infectious single follows Nao's official 2018 album titled Saturn.

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BwoiiDaas 'Radar Remix' ft. Amaarae

Nigerian-born alté breed Mark Daso Mina, best known for his stage name Bwoiidaas, has released the remix of his debut single "Radar" featuring Ghanaian-American singer/songwriter Amaarae. The 26-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer's "Radar" paints a story about a prince who finds peace, love, and comfort in the arms of a witch who has lived in the forest all her life.

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Follow our NAIJA HITS playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.



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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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